Andrew G. Haldane
International financial crises have been with us for as long as international financial markets. On some measures, however, the incidence of international financial crises increased in the last part of the twentieth century. Caprio and Klingebiel (1996) document 112 crises in 93 developed and emerging economies since the late 1970s.
Table 1.1 lists some of the systemic financial crises to have hit emerging market economies (EMEs) since the Mexican crisis in 1994/1995; it also shows the headline loan packages announced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help resolve these crises. Crises have struck all parts of the emerging market world. Unlike lightning, they have sometimes struck twice. Argentina recently suffered the first systemic international financial crisis of the twenty-first century. Doubtless, it will not be the last. History, especially recent history, suggests that financial crises may have become part and parcel of the international financial landscape.
But it is not just the incidence of financial crises that has altered in recent years. So too has their nature. And as the nature of crisis has changed, the difficulty of resolving them has also escalated. For example, consider the evolution in the role of the IMF in resolving financial crises since its inception. The IMF was put in place after the Second World War
Table 1.1 Recent systemic emerging market crises
IMF loans (SDR billion)
IMF loans (% quota)